Meet Rick! Recently he attended a Money & ME program at a local church in Albuquerque, NM. Rick lives by himself and eats most of his meals at fast food restaurants. During the first session, he completed the worksheet “How much do you spend?” This activity encourages participants to identify three things they are spending money on daily, weekly, and monthly. Rick was eating out and spending approximately $20/day. When he multiplied $25 x 365 it equals $9,125. He was shocked! He had never done the math and couldn’t believe he had been spending over $9,000 a year on fast food. He said he almost had a heart attack and wondered if trainers should have defibrillators as part of their tool kit when participants have the “shock” of what they are actually spending.
Many participants have similar reactions when they do the math themselves. For example, spending $7.00 a day on a pack of cigarettes is $2,550 a year. This simple activities encourages people to change their behavior more than a person telling them to stop smoking. If a person stops smoking they would have $2,550 a year to spend on other things….maybe a vacation!
Think of something you purchase regularly and do the math. Find out how much it is costing you a year. Please share with me what you learned and how this changes your thinking and spending habits!